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The Rubens at the Palace, a hotel just over the road from the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace has just opened the doors to its new restaurant, The English Grill, and Hot Dinners was invited down to take a look around.
It's the final part of a lavish refurbishment of this Victoria hotel and one that does much to tie in the hotel and restaurant to its location so close to Buckingham Palace and the royal family. So the cocktails in the bar are royalty themed and even the suppliers have a connection, like royal warrant holding butcher Aubrey Allen.
If the folk at Downton Abbey were ever in town looking for a respectable place to enjoy dinner, we reckon they'd feel right at home here That said, there's more than a nod to modern day style. So while the dining room itself is almost over the top with its luxurious design, there's a modernist 'open' kitchen too, sealed off from the dining room behind a floor to ceiling wall of glass.
On a Tuesday evening, the dining room was a mixture of visitors, business folk doing deals and the odd couple celebrating something special. As you'd expect, from somewhere setting itself out as a grill devoted to all things English, the menu covers the usual traditional dishes any visitor to our city would expect.
So there are traditional English roasts, which change on a daily basis - one day it might be Beef Wellington served with creamed onions and Madeira jus; another daily special could be belly of slow roasted pork with crackling and apple sauce. There's also a daily pie menu as well as a range of meats from the Josper Grill. See the full menu here.
But while this would be an excellent place to bring London newbies or even parents, it'd be a mistake not to pop along to enjoy this restaurant for yourself. Everything from the lobster Arnold Bennett to the smoked farmed Scottish and wild Irish salmons carved tableside, to the mammoth 20oz Tomahawk steak is worth trying.
In the kitchen is Ben Kelliher who joined The English Grill from The Chesterfield Mayfair - he brought with him Pastry Chef Sarah Houghting whose crème brûlée we tried was just perfect. Meanwhile, running front of house here is Maitre’d Paul Foxon who was previously Head Waiter at The Ritz. He's assembled a top team, from the waitress who carved our salmon to the complete character of a sommelier who talked us through the wine selection from Bouchard Finlayson, The Rubens’ sister vineyard in South Africa.
The English Grill restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily at 39 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0PS. To make a reservation call 020 7834 6600 or book a table online at www.rubenshotel.com.